Sunday, December 21, 2014

Leek ready to hit trail

With Premier Kathleen Wynne calling an election for June 12 on Friday, Kenora-Rainy River Liberal candidate Anthony Leek said he is ready to take to the campaign trail.
Leek said Friday’s news that NDP leader Andrea Horwath no longer would support the Liberal minority government was not a complete surprise.

“It surprises me only in . . the fact that I think this budget answers a lot of the questions the NDP were asking for in the budget,” he noted.
“But it doesn’t surprise me the fact that we’re going to an election,” Leek added.
“This has been a minority government for almost three years and we know that minority governments don’t necessarily last a full four-year term.
“We’re having a municipal election this fall, we have a federal election coming in the next year—to kind of get a jump on it, it made sense,” Leek reasoned.
“There was a lot of arrows pointing toward heightened possibility of having a provincial election this spring.”
Leek, who ran in the October, 2011 provincial election, losing to NDP candidate Sarah Campbell, said he’s been getting ready for the eventuality of an election.
“We’ve been working very hard since October, 2011, and rebuilding the riding association has been a key focus for myself and a focus for everyone that I met during that campaign,” he noted.
“People have really come together over the last two-and-a-half years across the region,” added Leek.
“I’ve been the candidate for the last year and we’ve been able to move things forward.
“The people I’ve met, the relationships I’ve built, and the successes that I’ve been able to achieve even on Emo council and working with the provincial government in infrastructure funding and so on,” he remarked.
“If there’s any way I can take that to a larger capacity, such as being a Member of Provincial Parliament, I am proud and happy to do that for as much of this region as possible.
“It means a lot to me to help others and I hope I am given the opportunity to do that,” said Leek.
Last Thursday’s budget
included $130.4 billion in spending for a deficit of $12.5 billion, and promised $29 billion over 10 years for public transit and infrastructure, and a new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan for those without a workplace pension.
It also included higher taxes on cigarettes and on those making more than $150,000 a year.
Leek said he felt the proposed 2014 budget was supportive of the north.
He added the Liberal government has been—and will continue to—make investments here in infrastructure, health care, and education, whether it’s in the form of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund projects or a new school in Sioux Lookout.
“I think our next steps is to start focusing on the economy, what we can do to bring things back so that Kenora-Rainy River can be great once again, and be an economic machine when it comes to the north and Ontario as a whole,” Leek said.

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